Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers in 2020

By Alesandra Woolley

Back sleeping is often recommended by experts as the best sleeping position for a body at rest.  But if you get it wrong by sleeping on the wrong mattress, you can miss out on the benefits of back sleeping

Never fear—we’re here to help you find the best mattresses for back sleepers to avoid this mistake. We’ll review our favorite mattresses and help you learn more about your specific needs when sleeping on your back.

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Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Take a look at our review for our 5 top-rated best mattresses for back sleepers to find which may be the right choice for you.

Consider factors like materials, firmness, and price to narrow down your options and decide which bed will be your perfect match.

1. Leesa – Editor’s Choice

Leesa mattress
MA Score 9.3/10
Customer Rating 4.8/5
Type Memory foam
Firmness Medium-firm: 6/10

Leesa Mattress Highlights

The Leesa mattress is a great choice for back sleepers because it fits the sweet spot of “not too firm, not too soft.” Back sleepers need a mattress that offers support and comfort, without caving too much under your body’s weight to throw your spine out of correct alignment. Leesa meets your needs right in the middle with its cradling technology.

The top layer of the Leesa is constructed with perforated Avena® foam that promotes airflow and breathability to keep you cool all night. Deeper in the comfort layers of Leesa’s foam you will find its pressure relieving properties and a bottom support layer for long-lasting durability.

Leesa’s got your back for the long run.

The Leesa mattress makes is a great option for all back sleepers, especially those who also have back pain or sleep hot.

Read our full Leesa mattress review.


2. Loom & Leaf – Best Memory Foam

Loom and Leaf mattress
MA Score 8.2/10
Customer Rating 4.8/5
Type Memory foam with cooling gel
Firmness Relaxed Firm (6/10) or Firm (8/10)

Loom & Leaf Mattress Highlights

The Loom & Leaf mattress finds a proper balance of comfort and support that allows proper contour to hug your body’s natural spinal curve. The top foam layer of the Loom & Leaf therapeutically molds to fill the natural gaps and arcs of your spine – making this an ideal match for back sleepers who need their mattress to perfectly meet their sleeping style.

This bed is available in 2 different firmness options: relaxed firm and firm. Relaxed firm is the flagship comfort level that is for just-right support, and firm is best for sleepers who prefer a very firm feel or are heavier people and need more firm support.

The Loom & Leaf is also great for those back sleepers who accumulate a lot of heat in the bed as it’s super breathable. Their proprietary Spinal Zone Gel layer provides better airflow along with optimal spinal support. Talk about a comfortable night’s sleep!

Read our full Loom & Leaf mattress review


3. Novosbed – Best Budget

Novosbed mattress
MA Score 8.4/10
Customer Rating 4.6/5
Type Memory foam
Firmness Available in Soft, Medium, and Firm

Novosbed Mattress Highlights

The Novosbed mattress was designed as an alternative to high-end hybrid mattresses for those sleepers who prefer the feel and support of an all-foam mattress

This mattress is also available in multiple firmness options, helping you find the exact right match for you. Novosbed also offers the ability to add an extra level with the Comfort+ system, which is great for back sleepers, who tend to notice small differences in firmness more than other sleepers.

Novosbed also appeals to couples. It’s 11″ thick and has high ratings for its ability to isolate motion, meaning you’ll be able to sleep soundly without being disturbed by your sleeping partner during the night. Best of all, it’s reasonably priced, so if you’re a budget shopper the Novosbed is likely in your preferred price range.

Read our full Novosbed mattress review.


4. Purple – Best Hybrid

Purple mattress
MA Score 8.4/10
Customer Rating 4.6/5
Type Hybrid: Hyper-elastic polymer and foam
Firmness Medium-Firm: 6.5/10

Purple Mattress Highlights

The Purple is a mattress that scores highly for all sleeping positions, but it’s particularly well-suited for back sleepers. This is due to its pressure-releasing layers that help your spine maintain its natural curve in the back-sleeping position.

The Purple mattress  is a supportive mattress that makes you feel like you’re “floating,” but you don’t sink into it. Instead, it does a really good job of addressing specific pressure points and collapsing as necessary. 

While the top Smart-comfort Grid layer conforms to your body, know that it’s not designed to “hug” your body like memory foam does. If you’re addicted to that memory foam embrace, this mattress will love you in its own way, but not that way.

The Purple mattress has great point elasticity, which makes it easy for you and a partner to share and enjoy. That means it will collapse where needed without affecting the other parts of a mattress. A traditional innerspring, by contrast, has low point elasticity.

Read our full Purple mattress review. 


5. Pure Green Latex – Best Natural Organic

Pure Green mattress
MA Score 8.1/10
Customer Rating 4.5/5
Type Natural Dunlop latex mattress
Firmness Choose between Soft, Medium, or Firm

Pure Green Mattress Highlights

The Pure Green mattress by Sleep On Latex is a natural, hypoallergenic mattress that allows you to customize both the thickness and firmness level of the mattress: you can choose between Soft, Medium or Firm; and between 7” or 9” thick.

The medium-firm mattress Pure Green option (their most popular) is recommended for back sleepers (and occasional side sleepers) who want a slightly firmer, more supportive mattress. It also works great for couples with differing sleep styles.

The firm Pure Green mattress option feels strong and supportive, with just enough flexibility to alleviate pressure points. It is recommended for back sleepers who prefer sleeping on a firm surface.

Read our full Pure Green mattress review


What Should Back Sleepers Look for in a Mattress?

The main factors back sleepers should look for in a new mattress are: 

  • Firmness: Medium to medium-firm
  • Contour: A comfort layer that supports your body curvature
  • Construction: Should offer overall support and comfort

Back sleepers, similar to stomach sleepers, need a mattress that offers support and contour in equal measure, to keep your spine in a neutral position. The support is what holds up your spine and neck, while the contour is what allows your bum and other curvy parts to rest peacefully.

Additionally, many back sleepers cite side-sleeping as their “secondary” position, especially snorers whose sleeping partners beg them to roll over. Is this you?

If your sleep position changes over time, or you share your bed with another person, look for an even more versatile mattress. Let’s take a deeper  look at the factors back sleepers should look for in a mattress.

Firmness

Firmness is the most important factor to keep in mind when buying a mattress as a back sleeper. People who sleep on their back should look for firmer mattresses. A soft mattress will put your body in an arch position, and won’t provide enough support for back sleepers

But a mattress that tilts too far in the other direction and is too firm can feel like a concrete slab to a back sleeper—this puts too much pressure on your back and shoulders, so you wake up with aches in the a.m. 

The right mattress firmness for back sleepers is somewhere in the middle of the firmness scale. If you aim for a medium-firm mattress, your lower back will thank you, and you’ll be sure to hit your deep-sleep target.

Contour

Back sleepers need a mattress that offers a little “give,” with just enough contouring ability to support your body and offer pressure relief. Inconsistent support will lead to inconsistent comfort and a spotty night’s sleep.

Contour also comes down to your own personal preference – whether you like the feeling of sleeping “in” the mattress and having the mattress hug your body, or sleeping “on” the mattress like you’re floating on its surface.

Construction

The firmness, contour, and overall support of a mattress—not to mention its comfort level for back sleepers—depends on the materials that go into it. Luckily, most online mattresses offer an in-home trial period, so you can guarantee that the fit and feel is right for you.

That said, it’s always best to make an educated decision, so we’re going to examine the materials that make up most mattresses.

Other Important Factors

Firmness, contour, and construction aren’t the only considerations back sleepers should make when shopping for a new mattress. There are tons of other important factors that can impact your decision. This include the following: 

  • Budget: Is it in your price range? 
  • Supports proper spine alignment: Does it help you avoid lower back pain or neck pain from improper alignment?
  • Pressure relief: Does it evenly distribute your body weight to avoid pain at the pressure points
  • Durability: Is it high-quality? Does it support your body type or does it cause sinkage? Will it hold up long-term or start sagging early in its lifespan? 
  • Support: Does it offer lumbar support? What about edge support?
  • Motion isolation/Motion transfer: Can you and a partner share the bed without feeling each other’s every move?
  • Warranty: Does it have at least a standard 10-year warranty
  • Other bells and whistles: Does the company have a generous sleep trial period? What about white glove delivery


Learn more about the important factors to consider when mattress shopping in our comprehensive mattress buying guide

Which Mattress Type is Best for Back Sleepers?

Let’s see what makes the most commonly-used online mattress materials great (or not-so-great) choices for back sleepers.

Innerspring Mattresses

A support system of springy “coils” can easily shape themselves to contour your body, while the materials layered between the coils (usually memory or poly foam, latex, or natural fibers) help support your weight.

The pros? A well-balanced, resilient steel coil support system will provide consistent support and firmness. The cons? Support may break down over time, and leave you with saggy spots, even if you rotate your mattress consistently.

See the best innerspring mattresses.

Latex Mattresses

Natural latex (made from rubber-tree sap) and synthetic latex both fall into this category, and any mattress with a latex core and layers can provide both support and comfort. It’s a good, durable, medium-firm material that conforms well to the body, and relieves pressure points.

Latex is known for its elasticity, and a latex mattress will bounce back after being compressed. Bonus: the tiny aeration holes punched into the material will help keep you cool at night.

See the best latex mattresses.

Memory and Poly Foam Mattresses

Both these foams are great at conforming to your body’s contours and removing pressure—which is why they’re so popular.

Many mattresses use a combination of higher-density support foam and lower-density comfort foam layers, which provides a consistent, medium-firm foundation for back sleepers. The elasticity of memory foam provides great bounce-back, so as soon as you roll over or get out of bed, the mattress returns to its original position.

See the best foam mattresses.

Hybrid Mattresses

Many modern mattresses, even those with inner springs, also contain a memory foam top layer. If two or more inches of memory foam are in an innerspring mattress, it’s called a “memory foam hybrid.”

The success or failure of these kinds of mattresses depends on how much foam (and what kind) makes up that top layer. Back sleepers should look for hybrid mattresses that provide a medium-firm feel, with comfort layers that prevent back sleepers from sinking too deep.

See the best hybrid mattresses.

Sleeping Tips for Back Sleepers

Now you know some of the best online mattress options for back sleepers. But do you still feel there are issues besides your mattress that hold you back from your best night’s sleep? If so, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Choose a supportive pillow

Too many back pillows can undo all the good you do for your body by laying on your back. If your neck is too elevated, you’ll wake up with pain. So don’t double them up. Try for a thinner pillow. Or, try no pillow at all―roll a small, soft towel and place it under your neck, so the back of your head still rests on the mattress.

And pillows aren’t only useful for your head. If you’re looking to position your body for ultimate weightlessness, lie on your back, and place a soft feather pillow under each arm.

You can also place a pillow under your knees to increase spinal alignment. Check out our best pillows guide for more tips on selecting the perfect pillow.

2. Sleep at an incline to avoid snoring

Do you snore? Back sleepers often do. If this describes you, ignore the above pillow tip, and try doubling up thinner pillows or using one thicker pillow to elevate your head and keep your tongue from relaxing too far (and causing all that noise). Memory foam pillows do a good job of keeping your head in the right place.

3. Avoid sleeping on your back while pregnant

If you’re pregnant, your sleep habits are about to change, and not just from those fluttery kicks inside. As your baby grows inside you, you’ll feel the increased pressure from the baby’s weight on your internal organs every time you sleep on your back.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the best sleeping position while pregnant is “SOS”―sleeping on side. The good news? Your body likely will turn over naturally if you feel internal discomfort. Also, sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees (or with your arms and one leg around a maternity pillow) will make you feel even better.

Summary

As a reminder, here are our top picks for the best mattresses for back sleepers

Mattress Best for  Type  Firmness
Leesa Most people Memory foam 6/10
Loom & Leaf Cooling Memory foam 6/10 or 8/10
Novosbed Budget shoppers Memory foam Soft, medium, or firm
Purple Couples Hybrid 6.5/10
Pure Green Latex Organic shoppers Latex Soft, medium, or firm

Back sleeping can be a very beneficial position—it allows your spine and neck to rest in their most natural positions, promotes proper posture in waking states, and slows the development of facial wrinkles. It’s even said to be the best position for preventing aches and pains in the morning — most likely because your arms, shoulders, and legs aren’t bent into contortions beneath the weight of your torso.

But if you don’t have the right materials, you can miss out on the benefits of this sleeping position. The combination of a saggy, subpar mattress and the wrong pillow can actually pull a back-sleeping body out of its neutral position and sink it in a miasma of stiff vertebrae and sleepless nights. That’s why it’s all the more important to know what your body needs.

Back sleepers: you deserve a reward for taking care of your spines, and of course, a mattress that will help you get the kind of sleep that refreshes, renews and revitalizes your body. If you still have questions or have a favorite mattress that supports your back-sleeping habits, let us know in the comments below.


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